Which medical conditions may lead to drowning episodes in people of all ages?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Any of the following may lead to drowning episodes in people of any age:

  • Seizure disorder

  • Myocardial infarction (MI) or syncopal episode

  • Poor neuromuscular control, such as that seen with significant arthritis, Parkinson disease, or other neurologic disorders

  • Major depression/suicide

  • Anxiety/panic disorder

  • Diabetes, hypoglycemia

  • Water sports hazards, especially with personal watercraft

  • Poor judgment and substance abuse (alcohol or other recreational drugs) in conjunction with boat operation

  • Cervical spine injury and head trauma associated with surfing, water skiing, and jet skiing

  • Scuba diving accidents and other injuries (eg, bites, stings, lacerations)

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